If they don't say "SS Niles", you are not getting my food-grade stainless stoppers.
DIY Project Questions
What is the best size for a stopper blank?
Should I glue the stopper into the wood and which glue is best?
I have trouble with the wood getting loose on the mandrel while turning?
I can't get the turned top off the mandrel after turning?
There is no "food grade" stainless steel. You can buy plastic spoons that are food grade or
"food compliant". FDA kitchen grade refers to 304 18-8 grade. The FDA specifies a chemical
composition for stainless steel used in restaurant kitchens and the medical industry.
The steel cannot have less than 18% chromium, 8% nickel and not more than .03% sulfur; thus
creating the "18-8" designation. * 17.8% chromium will not qualify it to be "304" grade stainless.
Also a company that says it will give you a Ceritificate of Compliance but won't show you the
chemical analysis of the steel they are using are most likely using an inferior grade stainless.
All reputable companies will show you the grade of steel they use.
Will the stoppers fit all bottles?
It is impossible to have one stopper that will fit 100% of bottles. With the original tapered
style: the small o-ring fits very few bottles maybe some olive oil bottles. The middle o-ring fits
almost all wine bottles and some with screw tops. The top o-ring fits some screw top bottles.
The SS-9000 stainless cork will fit the majority of bottles and will have a tighter seal because
in most bottles, 2 o-rings will seal and the o-rings are a different derometer of nitrile thus
making them squishier (new technical term!).
If the fit is tight, test it before leaving the bottle on its side over night. I usually do not suggest
laying it down because there are some bottles that are not perfectly round inside and
although the stopper is in tight, I just wouldn't trust it not to leak. If you need to lay it
down to fit in the fridge, perhaps make a shorter stopper or one that fits down over the neck
of the bottle. Example; stopper is 1/2" above top of bottle.
The SS-9000 seals tight enough to be able to lay the bottle on its side when it seats tight.
How should the stoppers be cleaned?
Wipe them off with a soapy dishcloth or just a wet paper towel. If you work with glass
or something you are comfortable with going in the dishwasher, the stoppers and o-rings are
perfectly safe, too. Do not remove the o-rings to clean; nothing can get under them. Also if you do
remove them to wash the stopper and the groove is not 100% dry, when you
put the o-rings back on, you have just created a micro bacteria incubator!
If you are not sure of the screw size, take the item to any hardware store, they have boards
with all screw size holes so you can see the size you need. The cabinet knobs are either 10-24 or
8-32. The average trophy is 1/4-20 and antique door knobs are either 3/8-18 or 3/8-20. A lot
of door knobs work with the 60-00-01 (301). It is also easy to tap the door knob
with a 3/8-16 tap.
Which stopper style works best for golf or pool balls?
There are 4 or 5 styles that work, the stoppers with the 3/8" studs and the one with the 8/32" stud
just drill that size hole in the ball and glue it to the stopper. For the stopper with the scoop top,
SS-338 or SS-738, just epoxy the ball on the top of the stopper .
The most common size for a stopper wood blank is 2" square by 2 1/2" tall. However there
is no "right" size. All the bottles in this picture are the same height and you can see how
all the stoppers look great, from the tall and wide to the small, low button type design.
This is a personal preference. If the stopper threads into the wood real tight, there is no
need to glue. However, if the top is taken off and on often, over time the threads will get
loose and it will need to be glued anyway. I use Tite Bond II which hold nicely once it dries.
If you want to be able to remove the top for cleaning, I would suggest using the threaded inserts.
First remember which woods got loose and use the smaller drill bit when using that wood. If it
gets loose, remove the blank, fill the hole with water, let the wood swell then rethread it onto
the mandrel and it will stay tight. You might want to glue that stopper since the threads were